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Darwinian Evolution in Ecosystems: A Survey of Some Ideas and Difficulties Together with Some Possible Solutions

  • Nils Chr. Stenseth
Part of the Biomathematics book series (BIOMATHEMATICS, volume 16)

Abstract

Ecology, the biological science of environment, has not produced a synthesis of environment from its broad technical knowledge of influence of external parameters on organisms. Before Darwin (1859), environment was considered an organic whole. Everything in it made some contribution and has some meaning with respect to everything else. Darwin subscribed to this view, but his emphasis, and that of his followers, on the evolving organism struggling to survive, suppressed the exploration of holistic aspects of the origin of species that might have been developed. After Darwin, the organism came into great focus, first as a comparative anatomical entity, then later with physiological, cellular, molecular, behavioural, and genetic detail. In contrast, the organism’s environment blurred through relative inattention into a fuzzy generality. The result was two distinct things (dualism), organism and environment, supplanting the original unified organism—environment whole (synergism). (Patten, 1982).

Keywords

Natural Selection Fossil Record Density Dependence Replicator Dynamic Mutant Strategy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis 1986

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